Colin Veach
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Factionalism: 1199-1206
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The accession of King John marks a turning point in the history of the Lacy family. In this period, Ireland was brought under the direct lordship of the king of England, and Normandy was lost. The balance of the king’s administration and attention (if not his ambition) was shifted westwards, and he sought to exploit his insular realms for resources to retrieve his continental inheritance. This chapter explores how Walter sought to thrive in this new environment. His marriage to Margery, daughter of the transnational aristocrat, William de Briouze (Braose), initiated a fascinating administrative arrangement whereby Walter looked after the Briouze honor of Limerick in Ireland, while William oversaw the Lacy lands in England and Normandy. This chapter also clearly shows how King John set his barons to counterbalance each other, as he used Walter to proceed against William de Burgh in Munster and Connacht, and against John de Courcy in Ulster. The Lacys reaped the benefits of John’s policy as Walter’s brother, Hugh, replaced John de Courcy, eventually being belted earl of Ulster in 1205.

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Lordship in four realms

The lacy family, 1166-1241


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